So That Was Summer 13

It seems like literally three minutes since I was predicting whether we were due a hot 1976 summer or not. At the speed of light here we are on the other side of it all. Autumn is not only nibbling at the skirts of summer, it has already arrived and is busily painting the leaves the hue that inimitably announces its presence.

So I have been resting my pen and your eyes throughout the “doing” months and have been busily filling my days with things to tell you about. There is much to share.

Regular readers of my work will know a little of me already and my part in the Owen Lewis Portable Theatre Company. As the name suggests I am the eponymous Owen Lewis and I am proud and delighted to say there are actors happy to perform my work.

This summer saw my two one act plays The Human Race and A Mother’s Ransom played in the Walker Theatre, The Arena Theatre in Wolverhampton and an experimental performance of the plays at Three Tuns pub in Bishops Castle. The work was beautifully performed and received by our audiences and secured us a performance of a new play (yet to be written) in the Church Stretton Arts Festival of 2014.

The new project has begun as I speak and two more of my works will be performed. The Joker is my first stab at a Brechtian musical and the second play, The White Feather is an anti-war play set in the Great War of 14-18. Next year, 2014 ,marks the centennial year of the Great War and a poignant time to play this show. Both of those plays start touring in the New Year and I look forward to giving you reports of how the things progress.

I enjoyed a fun reunion with my friends Sundial Theatre, who incidentally have been providing the actors and dramas at The Blists Hill Victorian Village for more than a decade. I was to be a pirate in the show, “Treasure Island” for a weekend special. It was brilliant being amongst such great people and was a nostalgic treat for me. If any place got into my blood it would be Blists Hill. It is an inspiration and the work Gill Jordan and her colleagues provide add the icing on a lovely cake.

The weather took on those 1976 proportions that I had hoped for and Britain sizzled.

Musically my highlight of the summer will have to have been invited into the chorus with folk luminaries such as Nancy Kerr, James Fagin and Jim Moray to be led by Steve Knightley (Show Of Hands) and John Jones (Oysterband) as we all sang the last song on the Main Stage, Marquee One of the 2013 Shrewsbury Folk Festival.

It was wonderful; to be amongst such greats was nice enough but to share the stage was a little treasure I will keep forever. To stand in front of 4,000 people all singing back at you in harmony is an exquisite experience that I am lucky enough to have felt.

Also musically we saw the new twice monthly open mic session start up in The Dolphin and the Woodman Sunday session celebrated its third birthday.

The town is alive with a rich cultural heritage of music and there probably isn’t many towns in the country where music is being performed live for the sake of music in quite so many pubs and venues. It happens as a matter of course it always has and always will. I have been a part of it for forty years and it is as vibrant now as ever before, even if not more.

There has been a down side to the year and that is the on-going and somewhat tedious catalogue of health issues that present themselves to me outrageously and boringly often. Scarily whisked away to RSH fearing the worst I was found to have suffered an angina attack and remarked to myself that that was somewhat unfortunate. However I was lucky it wasn’t anything worse and I had five days of bed and board in the shining, crisp linen of the Shrewsbury hospital.

The nursing was incredible, the stay was bearable and going home was wonderful. Thanks to all in the RSH for their wonderful, dedicated and professional approach to the job and thanks for being kind.

So as you can see it’s been a busy one. Let’s hope the autumn brings us more interesting and exciting things that we can talk about as the year reaches its unavoidable end.
See you soon and don’t forget to love Shrewsbury dot com.


Owen Lewis Owen Lewis

Owen Lewis was born fifty something years ago in the land of the black puddings. For the geographically challenged that is in Lancashire. Moving to Shropshire From 1970 Owen was brought up in Church Stretton. His first real job was in radio. After starting on BBC Radio Shropshire he became known on Marcher Sound, broadcasting throughout the North West for several years. After a university degree course in Theatre, Owen became an actor and went on to play "Pirate Bill" in The Alton Towers Hotel. He also made several television appearances. Returning to university he took his PGCE enabling him to teach. That saw him on the Essex coast as a drama teacher and latterly as a Creative Educational Liaison Officer making films and creating new teaching methods to employ on children in need of more help in their fundamental learning skills. Published playwright Owen ultimately wants a house boat in Amsterdam to focus on his work as Playwright and Poet.

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